After 24 years in the Professional Real Estate Appraisal field (now retired) and Selling full-time, I have seen thousands of homes. I often heard people say “you must have seen some amazing properties” and yes that is true, however I have seen many mistakes over the years that I would like to share…
(1) Trying to renovate a kitchen, bathroom or any major component of a house without the proper skill. You Tube is full of self-help videos that make it seem easy to do what most people would consider major renovation work. The number one reason people attempt to update or renovate their homes themselves is cost and this may not be the best policy if the end result does not reflect quality workmanship. The amateur renovation that you had hoped would increase the value of your property, has now become a concern to the trained eye, whether they are an Appraiser or an educated Buyer.
(2) Unfinished or incomplete renovations are a concern for an Appraiser, Realtor or a potential Buyer because they are not able to see the work previously completed, such as whether proper insulation was installed under drywall, or the exterior siding. Or if the wiring been completed by a professional and is it up to code? Who installed the plumbing and if there have been walls removed, is the building still structurally sound?
(3) Allowing strong odours to overtake your property whether it is from pets, cigarette smoke, cooking, candles with a strong scent, or scented wall plugs. No one enjoys lingering in a property that has strong or offensive odours. These properties can be much more difficult to market or just less appealing, so they do not draw as many potential Buyers.
(4) Very worn, soiled broadloom or wooden flooring can deter a Purchaser not only visually, but understanding the cost to cure if a large area is effected, that can be a deal breaker.
(5) Generally unkempt homes or yards. Things such as dirty walls, floors and personal belongings strewn inside and outside on the lawn does not give the impression the Homeowner takes pride in their property. This often relays into a Buyer being suspicious that there may be other items of importance that have been neglected such as the furnace, duct work, attic and sometimes the septic systems in rural locations.
(6) Trying to rush the Selling process without giving thought to de-cluttering and perhaps hiring a professional to stage your property. In my experience, most people ask for a candid overview of their home and appreciate the advice that their Realtor has to offer. After all, our job is to maximize your return on your biggest investment. If you think you are going to Sell, take some time to get advice as to how to present your property in its’ very best light.
Buying and Selling Real Estate is a very emotional business. I liken it to experiencing a nice restaurant where you expect the environment to be clean and inviting and everything is in its’ place. The restaurant should have pleasant aromas and points of interest to keep you engaged and enjoying the experience. The movement through the restaurant should flow easily. Similarly, your home should be welcoming, fresh smelling, where people wish to stay and linger and a place that they can envision themselves living.
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